This challenging topic is often debated from the point of departure that money is a great motivator. The answer after a lengthy debate is that sometimes, in limited circumstances, money could be a motivator but in general it is not a great motivator in the workplace. Fredrick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory of the sixties throws a lot of light on the obscure topic.
However, the aspect that interest me the most is what makes people carry on despite huge odds and hardship to complete a task.
The answer is small victories.
Reaching small goals, getting the feeling of progress. Whether you are restoring and old car, building your own aircraft or doing research into uncharted science, the small victories makes you carry on. In fact, research has shown that immense satisfaction (even happiness) can be gained from this process.
Apply this to your life, use it to motivate others.